This blog Yoga and Weight Loss for Beginners will explain how you can lose weight without dieting or keeping to a strict and challenging sport regime and at the same time become more confident in your body and get more flexibility and ultimately just feel better, physically and mentally – by practising yoga in a special weight losing way!
First of all, see below the different types of yoga.
Some of the poses will reduce fat in different areas and I will explain which ones are best for the most difficult body zones where we all struggle, especially when getting older. According to my experience, losing fat around the midriff is the most difficult – so bare with me and check out the most effective postures. You will see results in a few weeks if you practise regularly!
Different types of yoga – all suitable for weight loss for beginners
Hatha yoga is the foundation of all yoga styles and referes to any practice using yoga poses, breathing and meditation.
Hatha yoga starts with a slower pace and is thus ideal for beginners or people who want a more meditative practice.
B. K. S. Iyengar developed this meticulous type of yoga. This practice is all about balancing flexibility and strength through proper body alignment. This type of yoga uses a lot of props — blankets, blocks, straps, etc. — to help people of all ages, flexibilities, and abilities find alignment that is perfect for their bodies.
The poses are generally held longer, but the support of props and attention to alignment make this a great practice for those overcoming injury or joint problems.
Bikram yoga was created by Bikram Choudhury. It’s a specific and unchanging sequence of 26 poses that are done in a room heated to 105 degrees.
As touched on above, not all hot yoga is Bikram yoga. Hot yoga can essentially be any type of yoga done in a heated room, typically between 95 and 100 degrees. In general, hot yoga classes are vinyasa classes held in heated rooms. These classes will, of course, cause practitioners to sweat a lot and can require breaks the first few classes, just like Bikram.
Your muscles are very warm in these classes, so they can be great for improving flexibility. However, you also want to be careful, as it can be easier to pull a muscle when your muscles are so much warmer than usual.
Ashtanga yoga was introduced to the world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. There are three different “series” taught in Ashtanga. These are the primary series, intermediate series, and advanced series, though the advanced series is sometimes broken down even further in current practice.
Each series performs poses in unvarying sequence until you and your instructor feel as though you are ready to move on to the next series. It can be great for the more seasoned practitioner, as it requires strength, endurance, and a commitment to practicing a few times a week.
Kundalini is all about awakening your kundalini energy, or shakti, which is the primal energy thought to sit at the base of the spine.
This is a more spiritual practice, and there will be more chanting, meditation, and breathing in this class than in others.
Vinyasa or Power Yoga
Vinyasa or Power Yoga is a pretty active class with a fast and continuous flow from one pose to the next, including a lot of sun salutations. These classes will also ask you to focus on breathwork and cultivating awareness when linking one movement to the next. These classes are good for those who want a workout but also want to explore some of the more traditional aspects of yoga, like pranayama and being present.
12 Yoga Poses to reduce belly fat
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Mountain pose is a simple standing pose with the feet together and the body tall and strong, standing vertically upright. It is the starting pose for all other standing postures in yoga and can also be practiced on its own. It is considered to be the most basic posture of all yoga postures.
Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara)
To begin, bring yourself to the front edge of your mat in mountain pose with the hands folded at your heart.
Inhale. Bring the arms out to the sides and up to the ceiling to join your palms above your head. Slide your shoulders away from your ears.
Exhale. Release your arms to either side and forward bend over your legs. Place your fingertips in line with your toes. Flatten your palms if possible or tent your fingers. Place your hands on blocks if they don’t reach the floor when your legs are straight. You can also bend the knees a little if that makes you more comfortable.
Inhale. Lift your head as you come to a flat back, coming onto your fingertips or placing your hands on your shins, whichever allows you to get your back really flat.
Exhale. Plant your palms and step or jump back to a plank position. In plank, make sure your shoulders are over your wrists and your butt is neither sticking up nor drooping down. A straight line from the crown of your head to your heels is what you are going for. Take an inhale here.
Exhale. Lower to your knees, chest and chin. Lower your chest and chin down to the floor, landing your shoulders right over your hands. Keep your butt high and your elbows hugging your ribs.
Inhale. Come forward to a low cobra. Anchor your pelvis and the tops of your feet to the floor but try not to press into your hands as you come up into the backbend.
Inhale. Roll over your toes (if possible) to come into an upward facing dog. Bend your elbows out to the sides at first in order to bring your shoulders down and away from your ears. Then straighten your arms. Make sure your legs are straight and your knees are lifted off the floor.
Exhale. Push back to downward facing dog. You can come through hands and knees on the way if necessary. Stay here a few breaths (or more) if you need to take a break.
Exhale. Step the right foot next to the right hand and then bring the left foot to join it in standing forward bend. You may also choose to jump forward instead. To do this, bend the knees on an exhalation and jump your feet to meet your hands. Try to land with your toes in line with your fingertips.
Inhale up to a flat back and then exhale back to a standing forward bend.
Inhale. Lift your arms out to the sides and up, reversing the swan dive to return to raised arms pose.
Exhale. Come to stand in mountain pose with your hands in a prayer position at the heart.
Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Stand in Mountain Pose, hands on hips. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints, not from the waist. As you descend draw the front torso out of the groins and open the space between the pubis and top sternum. As in all the forward bends, the emphasis is on lengthening the front torso as you move more fully into the position.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Begin by coming to sit with your legs straight in front of your body.
- Bring your arms straight out to the sides and up over your head, reaching toward the ceiling.
- Inhale and draw your spine up long.
- As you exhale, begin to come forward, hinging at your hips. Imagine your pelvis as a bowl of water that is tipping forward.
- On each inhale, lengthen your spine. You may come a bit out of your forward bend to do this.
- On each exhale, deepen into your forward bend. Imagine your belly coming to rest on your thighs, rather than your nose coming to your knees. This will help you keep your spine long.
- Keep the neck as the natural extension of your spine, neither cranking it to look up nor letting it go completely.
- When you have come to your full extension with the spine long, decide whether you want to stay here or let your spine round forward.
- Take hold of your ankles or shins, whichever you can reach. You can also use a strap around your feet. Keep your feet flexed strongly throughout.
Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana)
At first, lie flat on your back as you keep your legs together and straight. Make sure that you keep your arms by your sides and have your palms down. Your spine, neck and head must remain in one straight line. This is the base position.
Relax your body completely in base position.
Gradually raise both of your legs and bring the thighs close to your chest as you bend the knees.
Inhale deeply as you perform the above step.
As you exhale, lift your head up bringing the nose as close as you can towards the knees.
Your left leg must remain straight on ground.
Hold on to this position for couple of seconds according to your comfort.
Release your hands and legs and bring your head to the mat as return to the base position.
Boat Pose (Naukasana)
Begin seated with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hands resting beside your hips. Draw your awareness inward and focus on your breath. Allow your inhalations and exhalations to be smooth, calm, and even.
Keeping your spine straight, lean back slightly and lift your feet, bringing your shins parallel to the floor.
Draw in your low back, lift your chest, and lengthen the front of your torso. Then, extend your arms forward, in line with your shoulders with your palms facing each other.
Balance on your sit bones, keeping your spine straight. Take care not to let your lower back sag or chest collapse.
Lengthen the front of your torso from your pubic bone to the top of your sternum. The lower belly (the area below your navel) should be firm and somewhat flat, but not hard or thick.
With an exhalation, straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle from the ground, bringing your body into a “V” shape.
Keep your breath easy, steady, and smooth. Focus your awareness within. Soften your eyes and your face. Gaze at your toes.
Spread your shoulder blades wide and reach out through your fingers, actively engaging your hands.
Stay in the pose for five breaths, gradually working up to one minute. To release the pose, exhale as you lower your legs and hands to the floor.
Camel Pose (Ushtrasana)
Come to your knees, with your legs hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips, with your thumbs on your sacrum, the bony plate at the base of your spine. Keep your hips over your knees and internally rotate your thighs, squeezing them toward each other.
Inhale to engage your lower belly and reach your tailbone toward your knees, creating space between your lower vertebrae.
On another inhalation, lift your sternum and draw your elbows toward each other, allowing your rib cage to expand.
Keep your chest raised, your core engaged, your spine long, and your chin tucked as you drop your hands toward your heels.
Press the heels of your hands into the heels of your feet while draping the fingers over the soles. Keep lifting through your sternum.
Now lift your shoulders to allow the trapezius muscles between the shoulder blades to rise up and cushion your cervical spine. Gently lower the head and neck and gaze at the tip of your nose.
Raised Foot Pose (Uttanpadasana)
In the first phase, with the knees bent, the arms stay at the sides of the body to support the back muscles until the core becomes stronger. The key is to lift the bent legs together without pressing the lower back to the floor; instead, rest the weight evenly on both sides of the pelvis. Raise and lower your legs (bringing the feet back to the floor) several times. Notice how the abdomen moves in and back toward the spine while the lumbar remains neutral, neither flattened nor overly arched. Let the work of holding your legs up come from your abdominal muscles, not the muscles of your lower back.
In the next phase, practice holding the legs up perpendicular to the floor using abdominal strength. Keep both sides of the pelvis stable and keep the lower back neutral. If your legs swing toward your head, the lumbar spine will contract into the floor, and if they swing too far away from your head, the lumbar may get overly arched. With the legs reaching toward the ceiling, extend your arms overhead and press them into the floor. Firm the muscles around your knees and elbows. This resistance, or contraction, is what allows you to relax your hip flexors and groins. Continue to feel the abdomen moving toward the back.
In the final phase, your arms and legs are pulling and reaching in opposite directions. Reach your arms and press them to the floor to allow the chest to expand. The chest counterbalances the weight of the legs as you lift and then lower them toward the floor. If you don’t reach through your arms and legs, pressure can build in the lower back, thighs, and groin. Lower your legs as slowly as needed in order to keep your abdominals pulling in and your lower back stable. Keep practicing and remember to tug in both directions for a strong and steady core.
Cat Pose (Marjariasana)
Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line and perpendicular to the floor. Center your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor.
As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, making sure to keep your shoulders and knees in position. Release your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.
Inhale, coming back to neutral “tabletop” position on your hands and knees
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Lie prone on the floor. Stretch your legs back, tops of the feet on the floor. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Hug the elbows back into your body.
Press the tops of the feet and thighs and the pubis firmly into the floor.
On an inhalation, begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor, going only to the height at which you can maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs. Press the tailbone toward the pubis and lift the pubis toward the navel. Narrow the hip points. Firm but don’t harden the buttocks.
Firm the shoulder blades against the back, puffing the side ribs forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward, which only hardens the lower back. Distribute the backbend evenly throughout the entire spine.
Hold the pose anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor with an exhalation.
Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Lie on your belly with your hands alongside your torso, palms up. Exhale and bend your knees, bringing your heels as close as you can to your buttocks. Reach back with your hands and take hold of your ankles (but not the tops of the feet). Make sure your knees aren’t wider than the width of your hips, and keep your knees hip width for the duration of the pose.
Inhale and strongly lift your heels away from your buttocks and, at the same time, lift your thighs away from the floor. This will have the effect of pulling your upper torso and head off the floor. Burrow the tailbone down toward the floor, and keep your back muscles soft. As you continue lifting the heels and thighs higher, press your shoulder blades firmly against your back to open your heart. Draw the tops of the shoulders away from your ears. Gaze forward.
Stay in this pose anywhere from 20 to 30 seconds. Release as you exhale, and lie quietly for a few breaths. You can repeat the pose once or twice more.
Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
In Savasana it is essential that the body be placed in a neutral position. Sit on your mat with your knees bent, feet on the floor, and lean back onto your forearms. Lift your pelvis slightly off the floor and, with your hands, push the back of the pelvis toward the tailbone, then return the pelvis to the floor. Inhale and slowly extend the right leg, then the left, pushing through the heels. Release both legs, softening the groins, and see that the legs are angled evenly relative to the mid-line of the torso, and that the feet turn out equally. Narrow the front pelvis and soften (but don’t flatten) the lower back
With your hands lift the base of the skull away from the back of the neck and release the back of the neck down toward the tailbone. If you have any difficulty doing this, support the back of the head and neck on a folded blanket. Broaden the base of the skull too, and lift the crease of the neck diagonally into the center of the head. Make sure your ears are equidistant from your shoulders.
Reach your arms toward the ceiling, perpendicular to the floor. Rock slightly from side to side and broaden the back ribs and the shoulder blades away from the spine. Then release the arms to the floor, angled evenly relative to the mid-line of torso. Turn the arms outward and stretch them away from the space between the shoulder blades. Rest the backs of the hands on the floor as close as you comfortably can to the index finger knuckles. Make sure the shoulder blades are resting evenly on the floor. Imagine the lower tips of the shoulder blades are lifting diagonally into your back toward the top of the sternum. From here, spread the collarbones.
In addition to quieting the physical body in Savasana, it’s also necessary to pacify the sense organs. Soften the root of the tongue, the wings of the nose, the channels of the inner ears, and the skin of the forehead, especially around the bridge of the nose between the eyebrows. Let the eyes sink to the back of the head, then turn them downward to gaze at the heart. Release your brain to the back of the head.
Practising these poses for a couple of weeks and you will see the results – less belly fat, more flexibility, stronger body, increased confidence in body and mind.
Yoga and weight loss for beginners recommends to make a plan when you will exercise – you do not need to do all the poses in one session, they can be split to suit your time table but start today with little steps and do not give up!
Please leave your comments or questions below – I am more than happy to reply!